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Sail Date: July 2019
This was our third cruise with Ama. As always, service was outstanding, food was delicious, and the daily excursions were interesting and very informative. We visited several wineries and learned a lot about viticulture. AmaDolce is a ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Ama. As always, service was outstanding, food was delicious, and the daily excursions were interesting and very informative. We visited several wineries and learned a lot about viticulture. AmaDolce is a lovely ship with room for 138 passengers. Ship is well appointed, very comfortable and impeccably clean. Staff extremely helpful. Ama has added a free drink happy hour which is much appreciated. They serve a light lunch in the lounge if one does not want to lunch in the formal dining room. There also is a light breakfast in the lounge for early risers. There also are mid afternoon refreshments for tea time. Ama offers bike excursions in addition to walking excursions. Bikes and helmets are provided. There also is a Gentle Walkers option for those who prefer less activity. Our cruise manager was Natalija, and she was fantastic. Our local guides were knowledgeable and personable. We also did both the pre and post cruise extensions, and are very happy we did so. We learned a lot about the Basque countryside and history. Evening entertainment was excellent, and ncluded Peter on the piano, as well as guest artists doing Motown, older rock and classical music on different nights. We also had an Illumination cruise in Bordeaux, which was beautiful. We happened on Ama five years ago, when a better known river cruise line was all booked for the time we wanted to cruise. A friend who is a travel agent suggested we might like Ama. We booked with Ama and absolutely loved our cruise. We've done 3 river cruises with Ama, and hope to do another in 2020. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My husband and I went to France for my 50th birthday. We spent a week prior to the AMA cruise in Paris, Reims and Bordeaux. Boarded the boat in Bordeaux and spent an amazing week with the crew and guests of the AMADolce. If you want to ... Read More
My husband and I went to France for my 50th birthday. We spent a week prior to the AMA cruise in Paris, Reims and Bordeaux. Boarded the boat in Bordeaux and spent an amazing week with the crew and guests of the AMADolce. If you want to relax or be active, AMA accommodates. We road bikes in several ports with a guide along with wine tasting. On the last day we went on our own riding excursion with other guests and had a wonderful day exploring on our own. We like flexibility and AMA did not disappoint. The only thing you need to be sure you are on time for is dinner. If you arrive too late, you may miss some of the available appetizers. Food was delicious! My husband set up golf in a few of the ports and I participated in the available AMA excursions. Most of which I loved. There was one bus excursion with wine tasting that was good, but the bus ride was too long. We drove around and just looked out the window at sites. After wine tasting, we were all tired, so it was tough. All in all, the boat was great! Easy to get around and facilities were really accommodating. Would suggest doing the Chef's Dinner one night. It is an overall tasting menu paired with wine. There is a fitness instructor on board and workouts were really good. We would definitely recommend the AMADolce Bordeaux cruise to anyone! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Wanted to get an overview of French wines and this was an exceptional choice. We’ve done Viking and wanted to try AMA. Have to say this was good choice. They’re close in format but AMA offers a bit more in terms of activities. ... Read More
Wanted to get an overview of French wines and this was an exceptional choice. We’ve done Viking and wanted to try AMA. Have to say this was good choice. They’re close in format but AMA offers a bit more in terms of activities. Also most everything is included in AMA Where Viking had a bit more ala carte choices. The crew were just the best. John our cruise director was on top of everything and very warm. The wait crew were equally skilled and we loved getting to know Artur! Every crew person we engaged with gave us superior service. The tours were great with the tour guides exceptional in all areas. Top notch!Great ship clean and well appointed. My only ask would have been for more time in St Emillion and maybe for AMA to offer wine shipping back to states so we could have consolidated wine purchases vs having to shop back from each Château. A ten for me! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose AmaDolce because we, along with another couple, enjoy wine, the date worked for us and AmaWaterways had great reviews. Although we have taken several ocean cruises, this was our first river cruise. We absolutely loved it. ... Read More
We chose AmaDolce because we, along with another couple, enjoy wine, the date worked for us and AmaWaterways had great reviews. Although we have taken several ocean cruises, this was our first river cruise. We absolutely loved it. We flew into Paris a few days prior to our departure from Bordeaux, and explored on our own - we had a blast! The morning of our cruise we took the train to Bordeaux, and coincidentally met our cruise director at the train station - he was taking the AmaDolce pre-cruise group to Bordeaux. We took a short cab ride from the train station to our ship. We rolled our luggage and didn't make it to the ship before the crew was there to take our luggage - straight to our room. When we walked onboard, they asked our name, checked us off a list, and that was the end of check-in! There were about 100 guests onboard. At the reception desk we asked to signup for the Chef's Table; as my husband was explaining to the receptionist that I have a gluten allergy, the maitre'd walked up to us and told me not to worry - he would oversee all of my meals, advise the waitstaff, and just to enjoy our stay. So easy, no hassle - and that was experience throughout the entire cruise. The cabins were a little smaller than on an ocean cruiser, but it worked for us. Our room had a French balcony - a full size sliding glass door/window. There was a railing and no balcony, but the door/window slid open and we had two upholstered chairs to sit in and take in the fresh air. It sounds odd, but it was really perfect bc we had the privacy/ac of our room but the wonderful fresh air and view. We loved it! The food was really good. Unlike the ocean cruisers, there was really no need for specialty dining. And, it was extremely fresh bc it was loaded daily from the port we were in. Breakfast and lunch included menu options as well as a buffet. The crew worked hard at keeping the buffet clean and appetizing in appearance. Fresh fruit & delicious cheeses were always available for each meal. Breakfast also included a made-to-order egg station along with the buffet. Lunch always ended with an ice cream station - a waiter serving various flavors of fresh ice cream, toppings, and whipped cream. There was a cocktail hour every evening before dinner, which included appetizers, an open bar and signature drink. The cruise director talked for about 10 minutes about the next day's activities, and we were free to socialize with other guests until dinner. For dinner, there was the daily Chef's Recommendation, along with a few daily options; they also had about 5-6 choices that were always on the menu. It was always fresh, very tasty and creative. For us, the nightly dinners were better than the Chef's Table we attended - we had fun because it was a small group with a beautiful view from the room, but the food wasn't any more special than the nightly dinners. Maybe our expectations were too high? The wines were local and good; we are not wine experts, and it was fine for us. For anyone with a selective wine palette, they probably would not be impressed. We had great excursions (with some bike riding tour options) to vineyards, castles, chateaus, & cathedrals in Bordeaux, Cadillac, Pauilllac, Blaye, Bourg, & Libourne. There were several wine tastings which we really enjoyed. All of our tour guides were very knowledgeable and entertaining. Too much to go into it here, so you'll need to read about it on Amawaterways' website. But, definitely an A+ for all of the tours. The housekeeping crew were awesome. Our rooms were always keep clean and quickly refreshed. Whenever we returned to our room, it was freshened - after breakfast, lunch, excursions, etc. - it didn't matter. But, they were extremely respectful of our privacy and would leave if we walked up to our room. They were very responsive to any request, worked quickly and with a great attitude. I know there was a talented musician in the lounge, and a singing trio one night for entertainment in the lounge, but we didn't go. We preferred to leave the ship and tour the town we were in. It was great to walk around after eating such a big meal at night, LOL! I loved that about the river cruise - we just swiped our card so that they would know we were off the ship, and swiped in when we returned. We extended our vacation with the three day land post cruise in Loire Valley, which we really enjoyed. Once again, our cruise director and local guide were great and very instrumental in making this post cruise worthwhile. We had breakfast in the hotel, and we were on our own to eat for lunch and dinner. On the last night we stayed in the Pullman Hotel in CDG airport. The rooms were really nice & the food in the hotel was very good. Our tour director had our flight info and, after we checked in, walked the group over to showed us where to go. We literally walked to the airport in the morning which was about 50 yards away. It was a short tram ride to our terminal. It could not have been easier! And, the unbelievable part was that we didn't hear a plane the entire time we were in the hotel. The whole cruise experience was wonderful, relaxing, entertaining, and educational! We walked so much that we didn't gain weight, and that's a true accomplishment since we ate so much! LOL! Speaking of weight, there was a Wellness Director on board, conducting exercises every day. We will definitely do it again! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Taste of Bordeaux – AMA Waterways AMA Dolce – May 3-10, 2018 We had an opportunity to take our second European river cruise aboard AMA Waterways Taste of Bordeaux itinerary onboard AMA Dolce. This is a roundtrip sailing from ... Read More
Taste of Bordeaux – AMA Waterways AMA Dolce – May 3-10, 2018 We had an opportunity to take our second European river cruise aboard AMA Waterways Taste of Bordeaux itinerary onboard AMA Dolce. This is a roundtrip sailing from Bordeaux, France through the Bordeaux wine region. Differing from the many other 7 day river or ocean cruises we have been on, this one was a Thursday to Thursday itinerary. Arriving in Bordeaux we took a local taxi to the riverside embarkation in Bodeaux on the Garonne River. The Garonne leads leads to the Gironde Estuary, and is subject to tidal rise and fall, and is for centuries has enabled ocean going vessels to load the wines of Bordeaux for shipping around the world. We spent the first night in Bordeaux, and familiarized ourselves with the AMA Dolce. Its capacity is 146 passengers, and we had a few vacant cabins. It consists of 3 passenger decks, and the topside deck with seating, a track, a small hot tub, and the captain’s piloting station. Decks 2 and 3 contain cabins with French balconies, the lounge, and the dining area. Deck 1 contains cabins at the waterline, with small windows just above water level, but the cabins are similarly sized to those with French balconies. At the rear of deck 3 is the 28 seat Chef’s Table where guests can request seating daily for dinner, at no additional charge. There is one elevator between decks 2 and 3 for those with limited mobility. Evening entertainment is limited to a DJ, or a few local musicians brought aboard for the evening while in port. There was also a wellness representative that daily led optional exercise, yoga or and some slide presentations in the lounge. Each evening before dinner, which is open seating between 7-9pm, the cruise director holds a 15 minute briefing of the coming day’s excursions and schedule. Breakfast is buffet style, including made to order eggs as well as scrambled eggs, meats, fruit and juices, and a wide variety of pastry. Lunches include both salad and buffet items, as well as optional entrees from a menu, ice cream or sorbet, and a cheese assortment. Dinners are menu driven, with appetizers, salads, soups, entrées and desserts. Entrees typically included a meat and a fish selection. Local wines and beer are available at no cost at lunch and dinner. We did enjoy the Chef’s Table one evening for dinner. It included an exceptional menu of appetizers, salad and soup, an entrée plate with four mini entrée items, and dessert. Special wines were served. Our days typically included an excursions of sightseeing in the mornings and a visit to a chateau with wine tasting in the afternoons. Buses took us to the sites, but there was some walking during the excursions and chateau visits. Day 2 included a guided walk through Cadillac in the morning, and after lunch we visited Roquetaillade Castle, occupied for 700 years by the same family. This was followed by a visit to a Chateau Guiraud for Sauternes wine tasting. On day 3 we sailed to Pauillac in the morning, and boarded buses for a drive through the Medoc region where cabernet sauvignon grapevines stretched as far as we could see, in most directions, and included such famed Grand Cru Class chateaus as Chateau Lafite Rothchild and Chateau Mouton Rothchild. We visited Chateau Gruaud Larose for a tour of the chateau and the wine cellar before wine tasting. On day 4 we sailed outbound to Blaye for a tour of the 17th century Blaye Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch we visited Bourg,with a Carraige Museum, underground passageways in oil tanks from WWII, and ended with a wine festival complete with local musician, and dancing and wine tasting. Generally at any of the wine tastings they included some local bread, cheeses, and sausages to accompany the wine. On day 5 we sailed down the Dordogne River to Libourne, the heart of the St Emilion and Fronsac region, the Bordeaux area’s most elite wine regions. We bused into the historic St Emilion town, with picturesque architecture, ancient monuments and a monolithic church carved out of one piece of limestone rock, and then went under the church to discover its catacomb and caves. After some time to walk and enjoy the town and it many wineshops and restaurants, we bused to Chateau de Ferrand for winetasting of GrandCru Classe wines. On both days 4 and 5 there were also optional bike tours of the area. On day 6 we had the opportunity to walk into Libourne in the morning and enjoy an open air market in the Bastide town in the morning including samples of sausages, cheeses, and local chocolate. In the afternoon we boarded buses for the short trip to Fronsac for a tour of the grounds and historic Chateau La Dauphine and sample Fronsac regional wine. On day 7 we returned to Bordeaux and spent the morning on a walking tour of the center of the city, with its historic cathedral, city hall, and high end shops, and then were bused to the Bordeaux Wine Museum. The uniquely shaped 8 story building included interactive exhibits on wine smells, food pairing, and wine growing, and ended with wine tasting on the 8th floor with a panoramic view of the city. In the afternoon of this last day, after lunch we were free to enjoy the city on our own. After dinner, the vessel got underway for an hour from 9:30-10:30pm to view the lit-up city from the river…a post card moment! Shipboard gratuities were about as expected on a cruise, but we also tipped the daily guides 2 Euros and the bus drivers 1 Euro each tour. I had ordered about 300 Euros from my bank in the US before leaving, and used all by 5 Euros on the taxis and the shipboard gratuities. There was not much need for currency during the days. We left the Ama Dolce at 9am on the 8th day by taxi for the return to the Bordeaux airport and the trip home. As we are wine fans, I am very glad we had this opportunity to learn more about the wide variety of Bordeaux wines, as well as visit historic areas. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We just finished a cruise on Ama Dolce in the Bordeaux region and we could not have been happier. We have been on one other River Cruise boat and although it was very nice Ama made us feel more like family and the food was far superior. ... Read More
We just finished a cruise on Ama Dolce in the Bordeaux region and we could not have been happier. We have been on one other River Cruise boat and although it was very nice Ama made us feel more like family and the food was far superior. Although it would have been nice to have rooms with balcony's ( the slider opened up but the room did not extend into a balcony) there was sufficient room nonetheless. Our cabin was cleaned to perfection every day by Andreaa and she was always very friendly and helpful. Our Cruise Manager, Natalia, went out of her way to make sure we were happy and if we needed anything she was right on top of it. She really took the time to get to know us and we enjoyed her company. The Housekeeping Manager, Dierk, was always there to greet us and chat as were many of the other crew. The food was absolutely outstanding and the service in the dining room and lounge was top notch. We particularly liked the excursions, which was a lot of biking during the day into the vineyard areas and through small villages. We also visited several wineries which were all quite nice. The people that were hired to conduct our tours were well versed and enjoyable and our safety, especially when we were biking was always looked after. I would highly recommend this cruise line to anyone and to top of their hospitality upon our return home there was a hand written post card from the crew thanking us for sailing with them. I'm not sure who get's that fun duty to send out over 100 thank you notes after every sailing but that special touch meant a lot to us. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I and another couple wanted to explore the Bordeaux region of France and also try out a river cruise. None of the four of us knew Bordeaux, AMA, or river cruising. The entire experience was delightful! First, the ... Read More
My wife and I and another couple wanted to explore the Bordeaux region of France and also try out a river cruise. None of the four of us knew Bordeaux, AMA, or river cruising. The entire experience was delightful! First, the AMADolce is a wonderful ship. It was absolutely immaculate. Everywhere. From the moment our taxi pulled up to the embarkation area, the staff were immediately available to help with our luggage and escort us on board. Every single staff member we met throughout the week could not have been nicer or more professional. They were kind, fun, and anticipated every need. They immediately created a sense of family, warmth and care. The public spaces on the Dolce are beautifully decorated and comfortable. They were spacious. The amount of windows all over the ship contributed to a very open feeling. The dining room was always beautifully appointed with white linens and beautiful tableware. We were in Cabin 204, a category B room. When I was investigating the cruise and realized the cabin sizes were only 170 SQF, I was concerned that the room would be cramped and uncomfortable. While I can't say the room was spacious it was efficient. Beds were great, nice amount of space for hanging or laying out our clothes. The bathroom was very nice. Shower had various jacuzzi spray options. Water pressure was excellent. It was great having the double french windows in the Category B cabin. The opened up the space in the room a great deal. I wouldn't take another river cruise without having double sliding doors/windows like this. The cabin was serviced twice daily. I can see why there is a premium for cabins on the higher decks simply because when you are docked you can see out and over a little better. Cabin 204 was toward the front of the ship and I would opt for cabins toward the front, rather than the rear, when we go again. Dining on board was excellent. Wide selections for breakfast and lunch. Dinner choices each evening were varied with a chef's selection but also some great standard menu items. I would give the food quality a 4 out of 5 in the main dining room. Certainly very good and nothing to complain about but achieving 5 star food quality when serving so many guests would be difficult. We had dinner one evening in the Chef's table restaurant which accommodates about 16 people. It was excellent and I would rate that particular dining experience as a 5. The cruise itinerary itself was perfect. Enough time in ports to enjoy the very enjoyable shore excursions and also have free time as needed. And, enough time on the river itself to enjoy the cruising experience. What we all enjoyed so much was the intimacy with the water and one's surroundings that occurs on a river cruise. Unlike an ocean cruise where the water can be 12 decks below you, on a river cruise everything is right in front you at all times. It makes watching the world go by a very enjoyable experience as things change moment by moment. Our cruise manager, Elia, was absolutely outstanding. If there were any problems behind the scenes, one would never know. Elia had everything operating efficiently and she handled all our individual requests with grace and a smile. Captain Dany was a delight as were the rest of the crew. We can now see why so many of the new friends that we made on board had sailed with AMA previously. The experience was top notch in every way. Thanks, AMA, for a great time and a very memorable vacation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I planned a vacation to France for our 35th anniversary. We wanted to spend a week in Paris and a week in the French countryside, but we didn't want to take a bus tour where we would be checking into and out of hotels ... Read More
My wife and I planned a vacation to France for our 35th anniversary. We wanted to spend a week in Paris and a week in the French countryside, but we didn't want to take a bus tour where we would be checking into and out of hotels every day. Our solution was a river cruise, where our "hotel" could travel with us. After reviewing a number of river cruises in France, we decided on the Ama Waterways Taste of Bordeaux, and we were very happy with our choice. This was our first river cruise, and we found the intimacy of the AmaDolce a refreshing change from large ocean cruises. The food was wonderful, among some of the best meals we've had our lives. The service was impeccable. We grew quite fond of our ebullient Bulgarian waiter Nicolai. The excursions were very good and, unlike ocean cruise excursions, almost all of them were included in the cruise price. True to the title of the cruise, we visited a number of wineries and sampled some good wines in the Sauternes, Pauillac, and St. Emilion regions. The guides and winery hosts were all very knowledgeable and helpful. There were also excursions to local chateaux and other historical sites, including Roquetaillade Castle, the Citadel at Blaye, the Château de Vayres and the Château de Montaigne. A high point for us was a weekend craft fair in the Blaye Citadel, where we got to talk to some very nice artists. We were also happy to spend some time in the city of Bordeaux. Despite its size, the AmaDolce had both laundry service and a hair salon, both of which were surprisingly reasonable. Since we needed to get back to Paris for our return flight, we decided to add the Loire Valley post-cruise extension, and we were happy with that tour as well. The chateaux we visited -- Chenonceau, Amboise, Chambord, and Blos -- were fantastic. It was a special treat to see Clos Luce, the last home of Leonardo Da Vinci, and his grave in the St. Hubert Chapel at Amboise. Our Sorbonne-trained guide Claude was excellent -- he gave us both the historical background and the juicy details of the French Renaissance kings. The cruise director Elia accompanied us on the extension and took good care of us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were invited by our good friends and experienced travelers to join them on a river cruise in France. We had never been on a cruise before so it sounded intriguing, especially with a couple that knew France as well as they did. We ... Read More
We were invited by our good friends and experienced travelers to join them on a river cruise in France. We had never been on a cruise before so it sounded intriguing, especially with a couple that knew France as well as they did. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity. From the minute we stepped on board, we knew this was to be a special week. Immediately, the crew grabbed our luggage from the driver, and from that moment on, we were waited on hand and foot. While we haven’t cruised before, we’ve stayed in many fine hotels and I can say without reservation, this was the kindest, most thoughtful, happy staff and crew we’ve ever experienced. We knew immediately that this was a tightly run ship. The decor was first class. The ship was immaculate. And our room on the second deck was perfect. It’s amazing how we thought the room was going to feel small, and yet it was perfectly laid out in every way. We had traveled before coming to the cruise so had two big suitcases that slid under the bed with ease. The Mac computer mounted on the wall doubled as an onboard computer, as well as an entertainment center, the perfect size for the cabin. The two chairs were so comfortable and could face in to the room or out to the water, in front of nicely oversize sliding glass doors. I can’t tell you the delight we had when we were slipping through the water quietly, reading and watching the world go by. Indescribable! The bathroom was also super efficient and the shower was small but big enough, and amazing with multiple shower heads. We wanted to go home and remodel ours after it! And yet most of our time was out of the room. Everything about the public areas of the ship was inviting and relaxing. We loved spending time in the beautifully appointed lounge, surrounded by huge windows on both sides and a glass atrium type area in the front. The crew would always have a big smile and a hello when we passed. We spent some amazing relaxing time there talking with new friends or just reading and going through photos of our excursions. And the excursions were amazing! So well thought out, so efficient, never crowded feeling, never felt like we were being herded as I have heard about on cruises. It was just like going out with some friends. Four beautiful, comfortable tour buses would pull up at the end of the dock and we would enjoy absolutely the most knowledgable and professional tour guides we’ve ever experienced. Loved every one of them! The food was excellent throughout the trip! Breakfast was a delight, with lots of choices, lunches were surprisingly extravagant, and dinners were more like a really fine restaurant than what we expected for a larger number of people seated all at once. We have nothing but good to say about the food and the service. We loved our servers! We took photos with them and shared them with our friends. We hugged at the end of the week! Elia was our cruise manager. She is the picture of professionalism, knowledge of the cruise topics, and frankly, patience. We saw how she managed all of us, doing everything in her power to make sure every need was met and every request handled, even those that were not so reasonable. We were very impressed. We are now officially big fans of river cruising and especially AMA Waterways. I don’t know that we would risk not getting the same treatment on another cruise line knowing what we now know. And with all the repeat AMA cruisers we ran into, we know we are not the only ones thinking that way. Thank you to Captain Danny, Elia and the entire crew of AmaDolce. You gave us the experience of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We had taken another cruise with Ama on the Ama Prima and found the service to be excellent so we chose another destination--the Bordeaux. The meals were wonderful-- every evening there was something special. The Chef's table was a ... Read More
We had taken another cruise with Ama on the Ama Prima and found the service to be excellent so we chose another destination--the Bordeaux. The meals were wonderful-- every evening there was something special. The Chef's table was a very special meal and well presented. It was easy to meet other people by sharing the table at dinner. We met some lovely folks. Our cruise director, Dragan, took very good care of us---when we were flying home out of Paris he even walked the group to the station so we were sure where to go--that relieved stress for many of us. We took a variety of onshore trips to wineries and the wine museum, tours of towns in the area and visited the markets. We learned much about wines but also about the history of the area. All in all it was another good river cruise and we shall no doubt pick another destination and go again! Thank you Ama Waterways for making our cruise awesome! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
From turning up on our first day to leaving in the taxi for the airport, the staff and fellow travelers made our trip a fantastic experience. Captain Danny and his team worked tirelessly to ensure that we had a 5star trip all day, every ... Read More
From turning up on our first day to leaving in the taxi for the airport, the staff and fellow travelers made our trip a fantastic experience. Captain Danny and his team worked tirelessly to ensure that we had a 5star trip all day, every day. The food and wines were outstanding as was Mike, our resident musician. Nikolai ensured that our dining experience was excellent an Kristian, Angel and Vasil ensured that everyone had a full glass of our preference. The daily excursions were extremely well organised with excellent tour guides providing a fantastic insight into the wine region. The only issue we had was that whilst all drinks in the restaurant were free, the drinks in the lounge were charged. This meant that you spent more time in the restaurant at night rather than go upstairs to the lounge where you paid for drinks. Ama Waterways should look at an all inclusive rate for the trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Every riverboat trip starts with the Cruise Director; and we had the best one in the world!! Annie Lebailly's radiant caring and knowledgeable personality made this trip memorable. The food aboard this ship was delicious. The ... Read More
Every riverboat trip starts with the Cruise Director; and we had the best one in the world!! Annie Lebailly's radiant caring and knowledgeable personality made this trip memorable. The food aboard this ship was delicious. The cabin was very comfortable and clean, with modern amenities. The crew was friendly and helpful. The itinerary was fabulous...immersed in french history. We loved all that we learned and the great wines we tasted. The post trip to the Loire and the chateaux was the icing on the cake. You should not miss this trip! It should be on top of your list. The piano player on board was truly a great talent, he could sing and play any of the best artists French, American and other. Even Annie, the cruise director entertained us with her beautiful voice, singing classical French songs...that was a fabulous evening. We danced some of the nights to pop songs, which was very enjoyable. Don't miss the special Captain's Table restaurant, it was memorable. Be sure to make reservations at the start of your trip. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
The AMA WATERWAY Cruise was stunning. First, the ship is immaculate & clean with a terrific crew. They are all well trained in their specific areas. The front desk is the hub of action. The bar is on the other side & the dining ... Read More
The AMA WATERWAY Cruise was stunning. First, the ship is immaculate & clean with a terrific crew. They are all well trained in their specific areas. The front desk is the hub of action. The bar is on the other side & the dining below. The dining room has huge windows for watching. Every meal was orchestrated by the Maitre 'D & Executive Chef & Staff. very professional 5 Star gourmet meals. Eggs Benedict everyday, Seafood buffet, ice Cream bar, 50 item salad bar, Shrimp & steak. Each meal delivered great Bordeaux wines with 9 0z pours in excellent stemware. In the evening there was excellent piano music OR a DJ to dance or a 3 piece symphony. All well well received by the guests which numbered only 85. Walking on the top deck was fantastic under the Bordeaux skies. The daily trips were included - with many wine tasting or castles to choose from. Our cruise director was Elia & she was amazing. She coordinated & organized us all to perfection. I highly recommend this ship and this route. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We'd never taken a river cruise as we normally travel independently, however, I knew we'd need help navigating our way through Bordeaux to learn more about wine. We were so impressed by our cruise director Elia, as well as the ... Read More
We'd never taken a river cruise as we normally travel independently, however, I knew we'd need help navigating our way through Bordeaux to learn more about wine. We were so impressed by our cruise director Elia, as well as the entire staff. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and professional. Virginie is truly a charmer!! Unfortunately, our experience was tainted by a large group of rowdy friends who dominated the ship and activities. Their main objective seemed to be drinking to the point of oblivion. I never expected that from a river cruise!! The staff handled it well, although I think the waiters lost patience towards the end as these guests asked for extra free glasses of wine to take back after dinner in attempts to not have to pay for it at the bar. Talk about reinforcing the "ugly American" reputation... The food was excellent, our room comfortable and spotless, and the morning views on the rivers were spectacular. Bordeaux is an exciting town and easily accessible from Paris by train. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise and company based on recommendations of friends and the iitinerary of the trip. The trip and experience were marvelous and i would highly reccommend it . The ship holds a maximum of 146 passengers, but only 104 ... Read More
We chose this cruise and company based on recommendations of friends and the iitinerary of the trip. The trip and experience were marvelous and i would highly reccommend it . The ship holds a maximum of 146 passengers, but only 104 passengersd were aboard for this cruise.The cabins, while small when compared to most ocean liners, were larger than many river cruises; quite adequate and well decorated. The beds were very comfortable and the cabin staff attentive to the nth degree, especially Georgiana. The bathrooms were quite roomy and well supplied with toiletries and the all important hair dryer for my wife. The in-cabin entertainment system was good, although to be honest we did not use it a great deal other than to watch some news, but they did have a large assortment of films and music available,. Wi-fi is gratis and to my surprise worked very well; much better than on larger ships. Food and dining were quite good overall. Breakfast was buffet style, but with a young lady making terrific omlets and eggs to order as well as the usual breakfast items and some less than usual items for most Americans.. Breads and pastries were excellent and required a bit of self control in order not to overdo it. The highlight for foodies was the special Chef's dinner to which all guests are entitled to attend. The menu is fixed for all seven nights and only 24 people are accommodated at a time. The items are all cooked in one location and served to each table as the food is ready. The service was superb and most of the items very good. The cod could have used a bit more seasoning.Wine, a nice selection of different reds and whites from the Bordeaux region as well as beer, are complimentary at all meals. Most entrees at the dinners were quite good, but the stand outs for me were the filet mignon and the prime rib.Each night there was always a Chef's Choice menu as well as several other items from which to choose.. If none of the menu choices for that day were appealing, one could always order a steak, salmon or chicken. One of the best ideas the line has instituted is to have a light lunch served buffet style in the lounge rather than the main dining room. Selections are limited, compared to the main dining room, but by no means lacking in many good choices. Salads and soups were always available as well as frog's legs and escargot at one of the lunches. Surprisingly I do not think they offered onion soup st any time. We did have some delicious deserts and the chocolate crepes were outstanding. The entertainment was limited as one would expect on a very small ship, but they did have a pianist who was quite good and brought aboard several entertainers; Frankly, I found this line offered better entertainment than most river cruises. The highlight of the cruise was an incredible staff-Kriss the cruise manager was unbelievable even getting up to see us off the boat at 4:15 am and providing us with a packed lunch. The front desk staffed by Ivan and Yasmina, during the day and a night attendant whose name I can't recall, were most helpful at all times and made us feel welcome and important addressing our every request with a smile. The bar staff and all of the waiters and waitresses were attentive, warm and friendly. The tours were excellent and our regular tour guide, Elisabeth, was beyond belief. She even managed to find us a local person on Bordeaux to take three of us on a special tour of the local synagogue. For the biking enthusiasts, they have quite a few bicycles and helmets and a bike tour led by Chris almost every day. We loved virtually all of the ports and excursions, but the highlight for us was St. Emilion. Not only a great wine producing regions with world famous wineries, but a delightful and charming village retaining much from the Middle Ages , including the catacombs and underground churches. I have no doubt we would go again and surely will consider another cruise with Ama Waterways Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This is our second AMAWaterWays cruise and we were again rewarded with a thoroughly enjoyable river cruise. The Amadolce cabin was spotless and in excellent condition as were the public areas. The crew with Captain Danny and Cruise ... Read More
This is our second AMAWaterWays cruise and we were again rewarded with a thoroughly enjoyable river cruise. The Amadolce cabin was spotless and in excellent condition as were the public areas. The crew with Captain Danny and Cruise Director Helene was one of the best we've experienced in over 30 years of ocean and river cruising. They were friendly, attentive, responsive and prompt. The tours were great and well paced and gave an insightful education on French wines. The food and wine selection onboard was very competitive with some of the best local restaurants in the Bordeaux region. The wait staff was fun, friendly, responsive and made us feel that the Amadolce was our river home for the week. Housekeeping was impeccable and Georgina, our stewardess, was a delight with her engaging personality and warm greeting in addition to the care she gave our cabin. My wife had a post-operation medical problem toward the end of our cruise and the staff was on top of the medical situation instantly, brought a doctor on board and helped us get treatment that she needed. The Purser, Captain and Cruise Director all demonstrated concern, empathy and acted to help ease my wife's issues. We were very grateful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
Chose to sail with AmaWaterways as they are one of the few cruise lines that sail in France's Bordeaux region. This was my first river cruise and every expectation was exceeded tenfold. This itinerary is fantastic as it is ... Read More
Chose to sail with AmaWaterways as they are one of the few cruise lines that sail in France's Bordeaux region. This was my first river cruise and every expectation was exceeded tenfold. This itinerary is fantastic as it is round-trip Bordeaux. The port stops have been thoughtfully executed to allow for the perfect balance between planned sightseeing (often several choices of sightseeing in each port) and free time to enjoy the luxuries of the beautiful AmaDolce. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this is the first year that Ama has been sailing on the Dordogne and Garrone rivers, everything went flawlessly! From the five-star onboard dinners to the choice of excursions including walking, gentle walking, bike tours and "limited edition" tours, I felt like the sightseeing I experienced was well-rounded and the local guides so incredibly knowledgeable. I also sailed on what Ama calls a wine-themed cruise. Really this cruise because of its stops and year-round offered excursions can be called a wine-lovers cruise, but I really loved the added benefit of a wine host onboard who compared the old vine wine that we tasted at several winery visits along with the onboard wine selections to new vine wine, in this case the California wines of St. Francis Winery. The service was phenomenal, I will say that there was not one request that was not met and the crew does a fantastic job at making sure that everything onboard feels like a home away from home. I also love that on a river cruise, everyone get to know everyone, and Ama facilitates plenty of opportunities, both on board and off, for guests to mix and mingle. I would highly recommend this river cruise line to anyone considering visiting the Bordeaux region of France. From what I've read they are extremely consistent in their delivery of fantastic itineraries all across Europe. I will say that I am not a river cruise advocate, I can't wait to sail with them again, this time I'm hoping on the Danube River. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
Fabulous Wine Cruise. Wine tasting and wine lectures from US winery and grower. Many chateaus and castles for tasting. On board wine selections were the best ever. As usual the food, the service, the accommodations were the best. ... Read More
Fabulous Wine Cruise. Wine tasting and wine lectures from US winery and grower. Many chateaus and castles for tasting. On board wine selections were the best ever. As usual the food, the service, the accommodations were the best. The excursions were great and the guides very informative.The crew went out to please all the guests. Our cruise manager, Kriss, was exceptional providing us with loving care all the days of this cruise. The Air France crew strike of 7/28/16 affected our return flight itinerary back to the US. AMA was notified too since we booked our flights with them. They started working on a solution for alternate flights. The Basel office and our cruise manager provided the new flights so we did not have to worry about anything. All our transfers were covered by AMA. We were met at the airports by AMA representatives and directed to the correct gates and also assisted in clearing up a booking problem with one connection on Delta. We were also transferred from an earlier AMA cruise by private car and brought to AMA representatives waiting for us at the train station in Paris for our meeting the AMADolce in Bordeaux. Our cruise manager was on the train with us. What great service! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We have done 2 previous cruise on AMA and decided this time to do 2 weeks as we just loved the 1 week cruise but it was too short for us. AMA does and excellent job in catering to your needs as all you have to do is ask and they will try ... Read More
We have done 2 previous cruise on AMA and decided this time to do 2 weeks as we just loved the 1 week cruise but it was too short for us. AMA does and excellent job in catering to your needs as all you have to do is ask and they will try their best to accommodate the request. I love a soft mattress, so they added another mattress on top to make it softer. I don't eat spicy food, their food is not spicy for almost all folk, however every morning the manager of the dining room would come over with the menus for the rest of the day to ensure that I could have my pick of items and that they would not be at all spicy. The food on this trip was the best yet, the quality was very good. I'm a meat eater, but the fresh cooked veggie almost convinced me to become a vegan. We were met at the airport and taken to our hotel without any problems. Embarkation for the ship is always a breeze, just hand in your passport and they will check you in, you get it back the next day. There are plenty of shore excursions, both fast walkers, normal, and slow. They have walking sticks as well as walking sticks with chairs for those who need a seat to rest. They have biked on board and I love to bike and went out almost every day either by myself or on a bike tour. They bring on local entertainment almost every evening if you can last that late after a big day out. The ship is kept sparkling clean, they are always cleaning the public areas and restocking bottles of water in your cabin. The free Wi-Fi works well all over the ship, plus your cabin has a TV/Computer combination. The cabins are just the right size for us as we are hardly ever in them except to sleep. The shower is great, instant hot water and lots of pressure from all directions. We love AMA because of the staff who go out of their way to attempt to please you. That is why we have already booked another 2 week cruise next summer. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
My husband and I took this cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest. It was our first river cruise and we really enjoyed it! The service was great throughout the boat, the staff was friendly and very interested in your comfort and enjoyment. ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest. It was our first river cruise and we really enjoyed it! The service was great throughout the boat, the staff was friendly and very interested in your comfort and enjoyment. Ama spends a lot of effort on small touches that add value to your experience, late night food after a concert in Vienna, fresh towels and a drink when you return from an excursion...and many more. Our cabin was well appointed, cozy, but comfortable with plenty of room for things. The make up of the passengers was older, 60 and up. In each case there was a variety of activities including hiking and bike riding in addition to the shore excursions. There were also several groups on each excursion, designed for those who need more time and those who wanted to move right along. Definitely something for everyone! Shore excursions were well organized, although it would be nice to have a bit more time on your own...tough to do with so much to cover in each location. (Moving groups of people is always a challenge, so many folks on their own planet, so be patient. Not a fault of the company, just the nature of dealing with people in general). Our local guides were very good in most cases. Our full day guide to Salzburg, Gabor was especially good, well organized, patient, told the good stories, and gave you lots of information, but didn't feel the need to talk constantly. Food and presentation of the food was excellent and the local dishes which changed with our location were great! We especially enjoyed Violeta and Marc as our servers! We came home with a few souvenir pounds extra! Dragon, our cruise director was charming....great personality and very interested in making your stay a memorable. While we had 3-4 days of rain or part rain, the highlight had to be Budapest. We just had no idea how beautiful it was. And the evening cruise with all of the city lights (and a lovely night) was really a great finale for the trip. I can't imagine going the other direction (ending in Nuremberg). The length of the cruise 8 days...was just the right amount for us. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
My husband and I did the Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg. Wonderful food, service and staff on the ship were outstanding. You didn't need to ask for anything; everything was well organized. The ship and cabin were ... Read More
My husband and I did the Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg. Wonderful food, service and staff on the ship were outstanding. You didn't need to ask for anything; everything was well organized. The ship and cabin were clean; the cabin a good size and a great bathroom. Christan our cruise director payed attention to every detail. The tours were so organized and wonderful local guides, clean buses, and efficient. We couldn't have asked for anything more than AMA Waterways offered. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
My wife and I enjoyed every aspect of AMA on the Mosel and Rhine. Extremely clean, efficient, well organized. Elaine, the cruise manager, was stellar. We enjoyed the selection of "shore excursions" and local wines each evening at ... Read More
My wife and I enjoyed every aspect of AMA on the Mosel and Rhine. Extremely clean, efficient, well organized. Elaine, the cruise manager, was stellar. We enjoyed the selection of "shore excursions" and local wines each evening at dinner. Zsolt's classical music on the piano in the afternoon was enchanting. AMA did not miss a beat, from meeting us at the airport in Paris to having an assistant at the Amsterdam airport to assist with departure. AMA also had outstanding local tour guides at every port of call. All were friendly, knowledgeable and focused on the guest experience. AMA even was glad to provide room service when health issues required in-room dinners on occasion. Their engaging manner really meant a lot to us. We hope to sail the Danube next...and it will only be on AMA. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
My wife and I recently returned from a week-long cruise down the Rhine River from Basel to Amsterdam on AmaWaterways’ AmaDolce. We also took the cruise line’s 4-night pre-cruise extension, consisting of 2 nights in Zurich and 2 nights ... Read More
My wife and I recently returned from a week-long cruise down the Rhine River from Basel to Amsterdam on AmaWaterways’ AmaDolce. We also took the cruise line’s 4-night pre-cruise extension, consisting of 2 nights in Zurich and 2 nights in Lucerne; and we remained in Amsterdam for 3 additional nights in a hotel we booked on our own. The fortnight in Europe was a truly wonderful experience, but for the purposes of this review, I’ll stick to the 11-night AMA-produced land and cruise components. For the record, this was our second river cruise in Europe, having sailed on the then new AmaCerto on the Danube in August, 2012. We were so enthralled with that experience – after having taken more than 30 ocean cruises since the mid 1990s, including 5 in Europe -- that it sold us on river cruising (see my comprehensive river of the Danube cruise in the member reviews page of this website). Although we continue to cruise on the oceans and plan on at least several more such cruises in Europe, these are no substitute for the relatively low key, but highly active and wonderfully intimate vacation experience only a river cruise can provide. Our second river cruise certainly confirmed and reinforced the conclusions drawn during our 2012 Danube cruise; and we are already booked on a Douro River cruise in Spain and Portugal for next fall and hope to cruise the eastern Danube from Budapest to Istanbul sometime in 2017 or 2018. Having said that, I think it’s fair to say that every river cruise is unique, but that comparisons can certainly be drawn, especially between two such experiences on the same cruise line. Taken in its broadest sense, our Rhine River cruise on AmaDolce matched up quite favorably with our previous river cruise in almost every respect. The difference is in some of the details, and I think it would be useful to set out these details according to the following categories: the ship and accommodations; the food; the activities; the staff and crew; and the itinerary and tours. Along the way I hope to draw some conclusions and insights about the general river cruise experience, as well as this particular river cruise vacation. This may take some time so I apologize in advance for the long read. Ship and Accommodations: AmaDolce is the 5th of 6 nearly identical river ships build by AmaWaterways between 2006 and 2009. These ships are slightly smaller than the newer ships in the AmaCerto class and hold 146 passengers compared with 164 on the newer class of ship. Having sailed now on both classes of ship, the only significant difference between the two is that the AmaCerto class of ships offers staterooms with both a French balcony and a standard balcony, in addition to staterooms only with a French balcony. On AmaDolce the dual balcony stateroom is not available and so we took a Category B stateroom with a French balcony and were perfectly satisfied with that. Because it was fall and Europe tends to be cool during late October, the only times we opened the French balcony were to take photos and those times were not all that frequent. In overall layout, design and even accoutrements, AmaDolce bears a remarkably close resemblance to its slightly larger cousins. Getting around these river ships is simple enough to begin with, but our familiarity with the layout – along with our stateroom location only a few steps from the forward, public section of the ship – made negotiating our way around the ship easier than a snap of the finger. One point I must add about the staterooms on the river cruise ships is that there is a real focus on economy of space. At 170 square feet with a queen-plus sized bed, the stateroom was a little cozy compared with many of the ocean cruise ships we've sailed on, but it was eminently functional in every way, with features not usually found on mainstream ocean cruise ships -- even in the suites. Besides a double closet with 2 levels for hanging clothing, there's a third closet with floor to ceiling shelves. Even so, we took so much with us that we would have been a little cramped for space until we discovered the rolling shelf under the bed. With our luggage stored under there, we still could get to everything easily. The bathroom was larger than most standard bathrooms on mainstream cruise lines, with a large and very functional shower, a full array of bath products, hair dryer, and shelving both above and below the sink. The stateroom comes equipped with a pair of bath robes and slippers, a pair of umbrellas, a safe, and complimentary water bottles (replenished daily). There is also an infotainment system that includes a TV that can be switched to internet mode -- and an accompanying keyboard and mouse. The TV provides a satellite feed from networks in multiple languages, as well as music channels and movie options, and there is free WiFi on board the ship that was, frankly, more reliable when the ship was docked than sailing down the Rhine. Each stateroom also comes equipped with "silent voice boxes" used by passengers to hear their tour guide without having to stand within earshot of the guide. With a standard adapter, one can use up to 3 electric sockets in the room to charge cameras, smart phones, and electric razors. In sum, we found our French balcony stateroom to be highly functional and comfortable, with plenty of extras included. Dining: Having read hundreds of reviews and comments on Cruise Critic, the subject of dining always seems to provoke great debate. Frankly, everyone's taste in food is different and so I try not to engage in value judgments or argue about favorite dishes. But I also know that the dining experience is considered by most to be an essential component of a cruise – all the more so on a river cruise, where menus usually reflect the local cuisine. Having said that, I must acknowledge I was more impressed by the quality of both the menu selections and of the food on our AmaCerto Danube cruise than on our Rhine cruise on AmaDolce. This is not to say the meals weren’t enjoyable. Most were, thanks to the excellent service and wine selections. But I found myself seeking out the standard daily options for salads and entrees on more than one occasion; that was never the case on our previous river cruise. Again, because meals are such a personal thing, it is quite possible that most passengers loved the menu selections; but I do know that our traveling companions, who were experiencing their first river cruise, came away feeling the same as us about the dinner menu options. Other than that, there was little to complain about regarding the food on board. We Americans have a lifestyle that often prevents us from having a good breakfast; I think Europeans are far more civilized in this respect, and I very much appreciated the onboard full breakfasts that offered a good variety of options from the buffet, plus omelets and other special dishes prepared fresh on the spot in the dining room. The same was true at lunchtime, where regional dishes were available both on the buffet and specially brought to you by one of the waiters. A "light" lunch consisting of mini-sandwiches, a soup, a pasta dish, salads, and desserts, was available daily in the lounge for folks who preferred to eat quickly and move on to something else. We did not take advantage of this option on this cruise. Unlike our first river cruise, we opted to dine at the Chefs Table restaurant located at the aft of the ship. It was the final night on board (the Captain’s Gala Dinner having been held the previous night), and the ship was docked in Amsterdam. With space for only 24 diners, this specialty restaurant offered a very small choice, but the meal was truly extraordinary, made all the more so by the extra special service, the intimacy of the dining space, and the lights of Amsterdam harbor clearly visible from the floor to ceiling aft windows. It was one of the most memorable moments during our weeklong cruise and certainly the highlight of our dining experience while on board – at no extra charge, by the way. The Main Lounge had a constant availability of coffees and teas, iced tea and water, and cookies. These snacks came in most handily during the late afternoon upon returning from a shore excursion and late at night after working up an appetite from the dancing. Meals were regularly supplemented with a variety of edibles and drinkables, most notably what amounted to a meal between breakfast and lunch served in the lounge on the last full day of the cruise and consisting of brats, potatoes, sauerkraut, and German-style pretzels all washed down with free Bitburger Pilsner beer. In this instance – as delicious as it was, the extra meal was something of overkill, as it was served about 90 minutes after breakfast and a half hour before lunch (we had an early lunch that day because of an early afternoon city tour of Amsterdam). Ugh! Talk about having plenty to walk off!! Other examples of extras included Gluwein (warm red wine) served as we returned from a chilly tour in Strasbourg, Rudesheimer coffee served topside while sailing through the Rhine Gorge, and champagne cocktails served upon our arrival on board and during the Captain’s Gala reception, just to name a few. Also available in a free-flowing form and at no extra charge was a selection of a white wine and red wine at lunch and dinner -- a different selection each night -- as well as Bitburger beer. In sum, although the dinner menu selections did not match the superb and unique choices we enjoyed on our Danube cruise, I was certainly satisfied with the overall quality and selection of food on AmaDolce , which would certainly have met our expectations had it not been for our previous, extraordinary dining experience on the 2012 river cruise. Onboard Activities: One might have assumed that the general lack of activity venues on a river ship compared with the giant ocean cruise vessels would have caused passengers to be bored. Nothing was further from reality aboard AmaDolce. For one thing, there were very few occasions when the ship was sailing during the day when we weren’t at a meal, and in each case that lasted only a brief 2-3 hours, and so passengers were more often sightseeing off the ship for the better part of each day. The fitness center, although small, was ample for this cruise, as most passengers had precious little time to compete for use of the exercise equipment. Again -- from my own experience -- with each day packed with shore excursions that often involved pretty significant walking, and two optional bicycle tours, there wasn't much need for additional aerobic exercise. During those few stretches when the ship was sailing and we weren’t eating or attending a port talk by the cruise manager, many of the passengers seemed more preoccupied with capturing the incredibly beautiful scenery on film – or socializing with each other -- than doing anything else. I know that on those few occasions when the ship was on the move, I spent as much time on a small deck forward of the lounge or on the Sun Deck waiting for the next lock or for what the next bend in the river would reveal. On four occasions during the evening, AMA Waterways provided some form of guest entertainers who performed in the Lounge. Each act was unique and most of them were quite enjoyable, but only one or two offered a true flavor of the country and locale where the ship was docked. Performers would come aboard, do their show, and then depart the ship. Samples of entertainers who performed in the lounge included a young woman singing tunes from Broadway shows, who was probably the weakest of the acts presented; an accordion and chanteuse act called “Lizzi” who provided a full hour of wonderful French standard songs – and in the process I somehow found myself pulled up to help sing one of them, much to the amusement of my fellow passengers; there was also an outstanding string trio (La Strada) performing semi-classics, European folk songs, and famous operatic pieces; and then there was Monia & Hutch – a keyboard and singing duo playing pop and Motown numbers and working desperately to get passengers up on the dance floor. Their efforts eventually paid off, but for them it was a bit of a struggle, although as musicians they were top notch. My point about the activities is that it is impossible to compare the kind of Broadway or Vegas-style acts and guest headliners you see in the main theaters of ocean going cruise ships with the entertainment on a river cruise. Nor did we miss those big shows (which we usually like to see, by the way). The kind of guest entertainment provided by AMA Waterways on this river cruise was well-suited for the intimate setting and provided a sometimes excellent supplement to the cruise line's efforts to give passengers a real taste and feel of local culture and life. While I think most passengers enjoyed the guest entertainment, however, it did not succeed to the same degree as our Danube cruise as cultural enrichment and, in retrospect, left me a bit disappointed in this respect compared with our earlier river cruise experience. One final note regarding the onboard activities: each day before dinner and later at night after dinner and the local entertainment, the resident musician -- Szoldt -- provided piano music for easy listening, and he was always gracious about taking requests. On several nights, the easy listening segued into dance music, and several of the passengers got up to dance. These sessions never reached the full-blown dance party atmosphere we had on our Danube cruise, but that was probably a factor of the mix of passengers more than anything the cruise line did or did not do. Staff and Crew: An intimate river cruise ship with 140 passengers means an intimate experience with a relatively small staff and crew. The Captain had a crew of about 8-10 officers and sailors. Unlike on most large cruise ships, the Captain was almost totally accessible. The cruise – including negotiating through 14 locks between Basel and Amsterdam – proceeded smoothly without incident, even with lots of traffic on the river (although nothing like the summertime traffic we experienced on the Danube in 2012). The other senior officer on AmaDolce is the Hotel Manager; on this cruise it was Martina. She also interacted with the passengers on any number of occasions, not only at formal gatherings, but she was almost always waiting at the gangway to welcome each person back on board after a tour – or overseeing the distribution of welcome back drinks. The Hotel Manager is responsible for virtually every non-crew member of the staff, which includes such departments as dining, bartending, housekeeping, and administration. In this regard, the housekeeping team of about 8 staff members performed their duties with the utmost competence. Staterooms were cleaned and replenished twice daily but it was a rare occasion when you saw your room steward, so efficiently and stealthily did they perform their jobs. The dining staff of a maitre d' and about 8 waiters was equally efficient, and most of them were engaging and friendly. Although there is but one seating and no assigned tables, I felt as if each waiter treated you as if you were a longtime acquaintance. Of the several waiters we personally encountered on this cruise, our favorite was Marius. The team of three bartenders not only worked the bar during the afternoon and after dinner hours, but also served drinks during lunch and dinner. They were friendly and competent, especially our favorite – Dimitrar, who always went the extra mile to keep us happy in our drinking. Finally, we were thoroughly impressed with the team of 3 staff members responsible for handling the front desk and all the business aspects of the cruise: paperwork; boarding passes; issuing tour group colors according to passenger's wishes and also as equitably as possible to ensure balanced-sized tour groups; and billing matters. Unlike ocean cruise ships, where the Cruise Director is responsible for all onboard activities and entertainment and must manage a fairly sizable team of cruise staff, on river cruises there is a Cruise Manager who works virtually alone. The Cruise Manager is responsible for the passengers from the moment they arrive at a pre-cruise hotel until they leave a post-cruise hotel (when applicable). The Cruise Manager arranges and organizes all the tours, including those offered during pre-and post-cruise extensions as well as all included and optional tours during the cruise. And the Cruise Manager is responsible for the onboard local guest entertainers throughout the cruise, and for the daily program provided to the passengers. Because the Cruise Manager follows the passengers for a given sailing and extensions, he or she moves from ship to ship rather than having postings on a particular ship -- and that is why they tend to work alone (in busy extension locations the Cruise Manager sometimes has assistance from local contractors). Our Cruise Manager, Frederico, was exceptional in every conceivable way. He was the person who greeted us with a friendly smile upon arrival at our hotel in Zurich for our pre-cruise extension, and the last AMA Waterways person we saw when we departed the ship in Amsterdam at the end of the cruise. In between, his winning smile and overall friendly personality, enthusiasm, professionalism, and constant attention to every detail and the interests of the passengers endeared him to just about everyone. He personally went out of his way to assist my wife and me with two important issues: in Lucerne, we had a problem with our assigned hotel room and he immediately interceded with the hotel front desk to have our room changed and luggage moved; we also hoped to meet up with a couple who live close to Koblenz, and because the ship was only there for an evening, Frederico arranged for our friends to come aboard when we docked and join us for dinner on the ship, for which we happily paid a nominal charge for their dinner. In sum, I would have to say that the performance of the relatively small staff and crew of the AmaDolce not only exceeded our expectations for this river cruise, but ranks equally with the performance of the staff and crew on our previous river cruise as among the best we have encountered in our extensive cruising experience. Itinerary: Zurich and Lucerne (4-night pre-cruise extension: Upon our arrival in Zurich, our pre-paid transfer to the hotel worked absolutely smoothly even though our flight arrived about 90 minutes late. I had emailed AMAWaterways before our departure from Washington Dulles the night before, alerting them to the delayed departure, and the cruise line representative (Judith) was waiting for us outside the baggage claim area at the Zurich airport. After a few minutes to collect 5 other members of the AMA group that arrived on our flight, we were quickly and efficiently transported by luxury coach to the Continental Hotel. The hotel turned out to be an excellent choice. Rooms were typically European – meaning cozy by American standards; but they contained all the amenities. A very extensive breakfast buffet and complimentary WiFi were included, as well as a barrel of fresh apple juice available in the lobby pretty much throughout the day. The hotel is located within reasonable walking distance of the heart of the Altstadt (Old Town) on both sides of the Limmat River, and we spent our first afternoon exploring the main shopping district from the central railroad station south on Bahnhofstrasse. The next morning we had a city tour that began with a bus tour of the university district above our hotel and the lakefront, and ended with a walking tour through the winding streets of the Altstadt between the Limmat River and the Bahnhofstrasse. In the afternoon we took an optional tour by bus to the Rhine Falls and the medieval town of Stein Am Rhine – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with beautifully painted building facades along a pedestrian walking street. The falls were quite exciting and unique, as we were taken by a small boat within yards of the falls – upon which there is a large rock and a boat landing where those more fearless and younger than our group can climb to the top of the rock. The afternoon was all the more wonderful because we had beautiful weather. In fact, the weather was nothing short of spectacular pretty much the entire time we were in Switzerland, with brilliant sunshine and mid-afternoon temperatures in the 70s. The next day we had perhaps an hour or so after breakfast before loading up the buses to take us to Lucerne. There wasn’t enough time to see anything we hadn’t already seen in Zurich, so most of us sat around the hotel lobby for a chunk of time chatting until the buses departed right at noon for a scenic drive from Zurich to Lake Lucerne. It was yet another beautiful day and much of the rolling countryside south of Zurich was quite picturesque, especially when we drove along one lake after another. We stopped for a late lunch in the town of Brunnen, located on the eastern end of Lake Lucerne. Because we had to drive to Viznau to catch a boat by 3 p.m., we had only about 40 minutes for 80 people to find restrooms, have some lunch, and catch a quick look at the lakefront. It was a very tight schedule, but we were able to wolf down a sandwich and get some photos of the lake before the buses brought us to Viznau. Here they left us and went on to the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lucerne, while we enjoyed an absolutely wonderful hour-long ride to Lucerne on one of the Lake ferries, which we had all to ourselves. The scenery was beyond gorgeous, as we passed several major peaks in the foothills of the Alps, including Mt. Pilatus, all the while basking in the brilliant afternoon sun. The only thing that would have made the afternoon completely perfect would have been to have departed our Zurich hotel about 45 minutes earlier (rather than sitting around the lobby), so we wouldn’t have been so rushed during our lunch stop in Brunnen. The Radisson Blu was also a pretty good choice by AMAWaterways. Located a few steps from the Lucerne lakefront, adjacent to and behind the central railway station and rail yard, we were but a short walk to the primary areas of interest both in the new part of the city where Lake Lucerne empties into the Reuss River and on the opposite side of the river where the Altstadt is located. Although larger than our hotel in Zurich, the Radisson Blu had similar amenities and slightly larger rooms. The included breakfast buffet was, if anything, more extensive than and just as excellent as the one we enjoyed in Zurich. The following morning we had an escorted walking tour of the old and new town. After lunch we took the optional tour to Mt. Pilatus. The highlight was the half-hour ride to the top of the mountain on a cog railway – the oldest and steepest such railway in the world, with grades approaching 50 degrees. It was a Sunday, and hundreds of people lined up to take the tram up and down the mountain; fortunately we had a reservation and so there was no long wait. The views climbing and descending on the tram were only surpassed by those from the top of the mountain, where there is a hotel, restaurant, gift shop and plenty of trails to hike. Once we took our photos, however, we had a wonderful time just sitting and enjoying wine, beer, and the incredibly warm and perfectly sunny weather. That moment was a true highlight of the entire vacation. Much as we hated leaving beautiful Lucerne behind, the next morning after breakfast we were back on the buses for our transfer to Basel and the ship. Unlike the scenic drive from Zurich to Lucerne, this drive took us mainly on major highways and through farmland and industrial areas. Upon arrival in Basel, we had a one-hour escorted tour of the central part of the city, which I found to be considerably less picturesque than either Zurich or Lucerne. We had some free time to wander around and grab some lunch before meeting the buses for our short ride to the ship and embarkation. With respect to dining out during our 4-night pre-cruise extension, while we were on our own to find places to eat for lunch and dinner, we usually had little time or interest in major lunches and so we focused our attention primarily on dinner. In Zurich, we dined each night in different restaurants along the pedestrian-only Niederdorfstrasse, located less than a 10-minute walk directly south from our hotel. On the first night we stumbled upon a wonderful dining spot serving up local specialties at moderate prices – Café Mohrenkopf – which turned out to be a truly outstanding find. We had reserved a table for the second night at a more well-known place specializing in fondue dishes: Restaurant Swiss Chuchi, where we celebrated my birthday. The fondue -- and the huge ice cream birthday dessert served up (on the house), made for a very special dinner. In sum, our 4-night pre-cruise extension proved to meet and even exceed expectations, with many special moments. The tours – especially factoring in the two optional excursions – were informative and reasonably thorough. The fact that we were blessed with almost perfect weather for mid-October only enhanced what turned out to be a truly outstanding four days. Day 1 – Basel: Covered in the above section. Day 2 – Riquevihr: After remaining docked overnight in Basel, Amadolce began its cruise down the Rhine very early the next morning, passing through a series of locks with up to 60-meter drops in the water level. After lunch the ship docked in Breisach, Germany, and we had the option of doing walking tours of this town with its hillside cathedral, plus nearby Freiburg, or taking a longer bus trip to visit the medieval village of Riquevihr in the heart of Alsatian wine-growing country. We opted for the latter, and off we went with Monika, our German guide for the nearly hour-long drive. Monika spent some time on the bus trying to explain the history of Alsace – which passed back and forth between French and German control for more than a century ending in 1945 – with very limited success. Things did not improve when I noticed a road sign indicating an approaching memorial to the Maginot Line – the famous fortification erected by the French prior to World War I to protect it from attack by Germany; a fortification that failed not once but twice during the two world wars. My wife, who speaks fluent German, asked Monika in German about this memorial and whether the bus could slow down for a photo. Monika had no idea what the memorial, or the Maginot Line, was. The bus driver, who was considerably older, did know about it, however, and slowed down so some of us could take a photo, even though the memorial was difficult to see clearly from the road. I mention this because one would think a tour guide, who is trying to explain the struggle between France and Germany over Alsace, would at least know about the Maginot Line and include that in the explanation as we passed by its memorial. After passing vineyard upon vineyard, we arrived at the medieval walled town of Riquevihr. Monika took us on a walking tour from one end of the main street to the other; the town is filled with beautifully colorful shops and wine bars. After the 45 minute tour, we had nearly two hours of free time to wander around what amounted to one long street. Many of us took advantage of the time not only to shop but to taste some of the local wines for which the area is known. We found a wine cellar overflowing with atmosphere and enjoyed a wonderful wine tasting. By the time the bus returned to the ship, however, it was almost dinner time. There were precious few moments to clean up for the evening. Although Riquevihr is definitely worth a visit, I wondered why we needed so much free time in such a small town when, had we headed back to the ship 30 minutes earlier, there would have been no need to scramble to prepare for the evening meal. Day 3—Strasbourg: We awoke to a change of season from late summer weather to late fall weather. It was overcast with temperatures in the 40s and a strong north wind was blowing when our bus arrived at Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsatian region of France. This tour was a true highlight from the start. Our French guide, Virgina, was able to convey in mere moments what Monika had failed to do the previous day with respect to the historical struggle between France and Germany over Alsace. The city truly lived up to its star billing. Ringed by a narrow river, the island that forms the city’s center provides far more than a visitor can digest in a few hours. Despite the bone-chilling wind, our walking tour gave us a real flavor of this both historic and contemporary city, with the cathedral at its epicenter and its astronomical clock the focal point of our visit within its massive walls. During our free time after the walking tour, we had an opportunity to warm up with a glass of gluwein and sample local pastries. Serving as a political center for Europe as well as an educational center, the city projected a youthful vibe that transcended the weather. We thoroughly enjoyed this half-day visit to Strasbourg under the auspices of an outstanding tour guide. Day 4 – Speyer: After a pleasant morning sail down the Rhine that included an early lunch, we arrived at the village of Speyer. There was an option to take a walking tour of the town, but we elected to take the full afternoon tour to Heidelberg, and that turned out to be a very wise choice. The weather had moderated from the previous day as our bus drove through the city of Heidelberg, the historic educational center of Germany, and ascended the hill upon which sits the ruins of a medieval castle. Our tour guide, Renate, had lived in Australia and so she not only spoke very lucid English, but was quite good at telling many interesting anecdotes in an informative and sometimes amusing way. From the castle grounds, there is a really nice view of the city of Heidelberg and of the historic bridge across the Neckar River (a tributary of the Rhine). Following the castle tour, we took the bus down the steep hill while Renata explained how in Germany it is required to study Hitler and the Holocaust in the schools and that in many places in the country, people have taken pains to restore synagogues and other aspects of Jewish life, even though the Jewish population in Germany remains very small compared with the time prior to World War II. Only by understanding what happened, she said, can such a thing be prevented in the future. After a brief walking tour, we had more than a full hour to wander around the mostly pedestrian main street of the Altstadt. Renate showed us the best place to purchase local pastry specialties, and off we went to explore, shop, and enjoy a glass of wine or beer while sitting outside and enjoying the balmy afternoon weather. We then lined up in droves to purchase pastries for the ride back to the ship – and these turned out to be an instant favorable reminder of a wonderful visit to a beautiful and unique city in the heart of the Rhineland. Day 5 – Ruddesheim am Rhine: This was a busy day during our itinerary, beginning with a morning visit to this enchanting German village located on a great bend in the river just at the start of the picturesque Rhine Gorge. Our morning of sightseeing began with a mini-train ride from the pier into the heart of the town, which is literally surrounded by vineyards. We first had a tour of an interesting museum featuring early musical cabinets, ranging in size from music boxes to player pianos, to major full wall-size cabinets producing multiple instrumental sounds simultaneously. The demonstrations were entertaining – if perhaps a bit repetitive; nevertheless, it was a unique place to visit. We then went essentially next door for a wonderful wine-tasting and talk. The sponsoring vineyard’s speaker must have been an actor at some point in his life, because his presentation was truly entertaining and fun; the wine tasting itself featured several types of white Reislings that went down well and tasted quite good on the palate. We had a little extra time afterward to explore some of the shops before walking back to our ship for lunch. Rhine Gorge: Almost immediately after lunch, the ship set sail for Koblenz through one of the few really scenic portions of the cruise, as we passed through the Rhine Gorge. The weather cooperated enough so that most of us went topside to photograph something like 20 castles – both active and ruins – along with an almost constant presence of vineyards rising above villages on both sides of the river. We sat or stood watching what the next bend in the river would unfold. During this three-hour journey, trays of “Ruddesheimer Coffee” – a local special coffee drink with something “extra” added – were passed around, and it served to warm us and fortify us from the chill as we sailed through the beautiful Rhine Gorge thinking, this is really the essence of river cruising. And so the afternoon cruise turned out to be one of the most memorable moments for most of us. Koblenz: This small city, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel rivers, served as an overnight stop for us. Although there was no tour included in the formal itinerary, Frederico, our Cruise Manager, organized a walking tour through the center of town after dinner. Perhaps a third of the passengers joined this impromptu walk, which I think would have been even more interesting had it not been dark and had it not been sort of cut short by an annoying light rain that began shortly after we left the ship. The Altstadt proved to be strangely deserted for a Friday evening. If people were in the bars and restaurants in any significant number, it was not apparent as we walked by. But I think we all appreciated the extra effort made by Frederico to provide a bonus to our already pretty full sightseeing agenda. Day 6 – Cologne: After a morning sail from Koblenz, we spent the afternoon on a walking tour of the center of one of Germany’s most populous cities. Having been largely destroyed during World War II, Cologne has been rebuilt. But the massive Dom (cathedral) nearby the banks of the Rhine and the central railroad station amazingly suffered only minor damage during the war and stands as one of Cologne’s most important historic structures. It is also by far the most popular tourist attraction in the city, and so our walking tour was organized so as to get us to the church on time (our reservation time, that is). For the better part of an hour, we were led by our tour guide through busy streets and squares in central Cologne on a fairly overcast and raw day that for me held very little attraction. The old Rathaus (town hall) was worth a look, but why walk us all the way around the building to see three sides of it? It seemed to me that we were killing time until the one major attraction – the Dom which, I must add, is absolutely well worth a visit as long as you hold on to your children, because it is virtually impossible to walk any distance from someone without losing them in the mass of humanity inside. We spent some time after the tour shopping and trying the local favorite beer – Kolsch, before walking back to the ship to get ready for the Captain’s gala reception. In all, I would say our stop in Cologne was our least favorite on this cruise. Day 7 – Amsterdam: This city has always been one of my favorites. Whether it is your first visit, or you are fortunate to have been to Amsterdam on several occasions, such as I have, the city has much to offer and much that is unique about it. The ship arrived around lunchtime, and the cruise line had arranged a pretty full afternoon of sightseeing for us on our final day of the cruise. Our tour guide, Hank, was not only supremely knowledgeable, but he was a hoot. We began with a one-hour canal boat tour of the harbor and, more importantly, some of the major and minor canals that comprise the central part of the city. It is a wonderful introduction to the city, as you pass by many historical sites and it is an excellent way to get your bearings if you are staying on after the cruise. Hank then led us on a walking tour through a small part of the inner city and turned us loose for some free time to explore on our own and catch a whiff of the city’s vibe, especially if you’re in close proximity to a “coffee house.” We met Hank at the appointed time, and continued with a bus tour of the portions of the central city we could not see during the can boat tour. By the time Hank returned us to the ship, we had covered a pretty significant part of the central city by 3 different means of transportation. It was a truly outstanding finale for our sightseeing during the cruise. In sum, I thought AMAWaterways’ “Enchanted Rhine” itinerary proved to be a very good one. True, not every tour rated an “A” in my book; but many of them did, and the same can be said for our tour guides, who certainly formed an instrumental component when assessing the shore excursions. For the purposes of comparison, I would have to say that we were slightly more impressed by our 2012 Danube River cruise itinerary, especially when comparing what we were able to see while the ship was sailing on each of the two cruises. But let’s face it: how many places do you get to sail through at night all lit up like in Budapest? Overall, I think it’s fair to say that our itinerary was very enjoyable – and that certainly includes the 4-night pre-cruise component in Switzerland, which was well worth the additional cost. Final Thoughts: Well, I did it again and went on far too long. For those of you still with me on this article-length journey, I think it is important to reaffirm what I articulated in the review of our 2012 Danube cruise. “Getting to see parts of the world not readily accessible on ocean cruises is only the tangible outer core of all those intangibles I've recounted herein. A river cruise is more than just another cruise, it is a life style; it is an opportunity to stop and smell the flowers -- to immerse yourself in cultures only available from a distance on an ocean cruise; it is an opportunity to get to know and enjoy the company of people each day that you may not even glimpse from afar on an ocean cruise. It is an experience that I think no cruise enthusiast should deny themselves.” Which brings me to one final point: so much of what makes a river cruise a truly wonderful experience depends largely on two factors: the first, obviously, is the cruise line, and in this case AMA Waterways consistently went the extra mile not only to deliver a wonderful cruise vacation, but to ensure that every passenger was completely happy 24/7. The personal touch they provided, right down to the most minor detail, and the effort that each member of the cruise staff and crew made to accommodate the needs of each passenger, once again surpassed not only our past experience on some very fine cruise lines but certainly met our own highest expectations based on our 2012 river cruise. The other factor was our fellow passengers, with whom we shared this river cruise experience, and who provided the best possible companionship we could have hoped for. Did this cruise equal or surpass the amazing experience we had on our 2012 Danube cruise? Probably not; but it came close. And I think one needs to account for the fact that it’s almost impossible to duplicate one’s reaction to their first such experience. Would I recommend AMA Waterways’ Enchanted Rhine cruise -- on AmaDolce or any of their other modern river ships? Absolutely! As I’ve said once before, if it's your first experience with a river cruise, it may change the way you think about vacations forever -- and for the good.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
We decided to book the AmaWaterways's "Europe's Rivers & Castles" trip as it combined 2 nights in Prague, 7 nights on the Main and Rhine rivers and ending with 3 nights in Paris. I had visited Europe on business ... Read More
We decided to book the AmaWaterways's "Europe's Rivers & Castles" trip as it combined 2 nights in Prague, 7 nights on the Main and Rhine rivers and ending with 3 nights in Paris. I had visited Europe on business before I retired but my spouse had never been to Europe. The overall trip exceeded our expectations in almost every catagory. AmaWaterways led by Cruise Manager, Reka Piros, did an outstanding job throughout the trip and into Paris. The daily AMA Newspaper provided everything from the weather report to that day's scheduled tours as well as optional tours. They even had a daily USA newsletter. Our hotel in Prague was the upscale Inter-continental. It was located so we could walk for dinner at a local restaurant or shop and we did both. The City Tour of the Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge are musts to see. We took a tour bus up and walked back down. The local tour guides and the neat headsets and small groups worked very well. From Prague we took a nice tour bus to Nuremberg for a city tour and arrived at the ship late afternoon. Our luggage was handled efficiently and we began our first night at the Chef's Table Restaurant where we met other travelers who we visited with throughout the cruise. Everyone has one night at that private Restaurant and then they eat in the main Restaurant each night. Right away on our first full day arriving Bamberg, Germany we enjoyed the incredible breakfast and did so every day usually sitting in the same area alone or with other passengers we met and visited with. The menu of all of the meals included optional items and the service was consistently very good. We enjoyed the scheduled tours most days but also took the optional Rothenburg Tour and enjoyed it a lot. We took numerous photos each day and more when we reached the Rhine and all of the wonderful castles and towns we passed by. Our Cruise Manager, Reka Piros, provided periodic talks about what to see and why and was always accessible at her desk near the reception area. While some passengers took advantage of the free bikes on the ship for local tours we stayed with the bus tours since they had local guides and we could go at an easier pace in small groups. The tour of the Reichsburg Castle in scenic Cochem was very well done with the interesting local Tour guide "Margarete" leading us. The shuttle bus made it easy on the legs as it is located above the city. The pace of our daily schedule was up to us as there were many options available and we took advantage of them. As our river cruise was nearing the end of its schedule I was curious as to how they would handle the process of our leaving the ship and moving our luggage to Paris for the final three nights there. It was done most efficiently. Some 104 of us were going to take a high speed train to Paris after the Luxembourg tour. The process they used not only verified that our luggage would go to our hotel (which it did) but that we would not have to worry about getting on and off the train as it was all well coordinated. Our stay was at the Pullman Montparnasse Hotel; the room was comfortable on the 18th floor. We loaded our Paris visit with both scheduled tours as well as some optional tours and it was worth it. The weather turned rainy for part of our Paris time but we expected it and dressed appropriately. On our last night we took a cab to the Louvre Museum for a small group tour and then a cab back to the hotel. The final morning Ama was there to insure we and our luggage made the trip to the airport and check in. From start to finish we loved the trip. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
This was our first River Cruise and we are so glad that AMA Waterways was the line our Tour Company used. The service was Excellent, the staff were the most amazing professionals, you felt like family. Everyone knew when you needed ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise and we are so glad that AMA Waterways was the line our Tour Company used. The service was Excellent, the staff were the most amazing professionals, you felt like family. Everyone knew when you needed something, they keep an eye on you, and if your cup or glass was empty refills were always forthcoming. Our tour started in Budapest with a two night stay, then our transportation to the ship was quick and efficient. The embarkation process was very seamless, and we were escorted to our cabin. The room was spacious enough for us, the closet held our luggage, so we never felt crowded. River cursing is a different experience from ocean cruising, and I totally loved it! Shore excursions were well planned, many of the walking tours were separated into, active, regular & gentle walkers. Many excursions included were of great interest to us, there were also optional tours of interest to many of our fellow travellers. This trip was a celebration of our 40th anniversary, and it was a Stellar Trip, Thanks AMA. Read Less
AmaDolce Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.5
Entertainment 3.5 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 2.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 3.0 4.0
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.3

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